1 Monday, 9 March 2015
2 [Status Conference]
3 [Open session]
4 [The appellants entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 3.01 p.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: So good afternoon, everybody.
7 Madam Registrar, could you call the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honour. This is case number
9 IT-08-91-A, the Prosecutor versus Mr. Stanisic and Mr. Zupljanin.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Let's start with appearances. Could I
11 now please have the appearances for the Prosecution.
12 MR. MENON: Good afternoon, Your Honour. For the Prosecution,
13 Aditya Menon, Todd Schneider, and our Case Manager Colin Nawrot. Thank
15 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you.
16 Appearances for appellant Stanisic.
17 MR. BOURGON: Good afternoon, Mr. President. Good afternoon to
18 everyone in and around the courtroom. Representing Mr. Stanisic this
19 afternoon, Stephane Bourgon. Thank you, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
21 Appearances for appellant Zupljanin.
22 MR. KRGOVIC: Good afternoon, Mr. President.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon.
24 MR. KRGOVIC: Dragan Krgovic appearing for Zupljanin Defence.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
1 Before we proceed, I want to make sure that all the parties can
2 hear and follow the proceedings in a language that they understand.
3 Mr. Stanisic, are you able to follow the proceedings in a
4 language that you understand?
5 THE APPELLANT STANISIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
7 Mr. Zupljanin, same question to you. Are you able to follow the
8 proceedings in a language that you understand?
9 THE APPELLANT ZUPLJANIN: [Interpretation] Yes, I can. Thank you.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
11 Now, this Status Conference is called in accordance with
12 Rule 65 bis of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of this Tribunal.
13 Rule 65 bis, sub-rule (B), requires a Status Conference to be convened
14 within 120 days after the filing of a Notice of Appeal and thereafter
15 within 120 days after the last Status Conference. The idea is to allow
16 any person in custody pending appeal the opportunity to raise issues in
17 relation thereto, the mental and physical condition of that person.
18 In the present case, the parties filed their notices of appeal on
19 13 May 2013, and the first Status Conference was held on the
20 4th of September, 2013.
21 The second to fifth Status Conferences were held on the
22 11th December 2013, 9th April 2014, 24th July 2014, and 12th November,
24 Today's Status Conference is the sixth in this case. It was
25 initially scheduled for the 6th of March, 2015, pursuant to an order
1 signed by me and issued on the 29th of January, 2015. However, following
2 an urgent confidential motion from the Stanisic Defence, the Status
3 Conference was rescheduled for today.
4 The detention conditions and health of Mr. Stanisic and
5 Mr. Zupljanin.
6 I would first of all like to inquire into the status of the
7 detention conditions and health situations of Mr. Stanisic and
8 Mr. Zupljanin.
9 Mr. Stanisic, if you have any concerns or submissions to make in
10 relation to the conditions of your detention or your state of health, I
11 would invite you to raise them now. And if you prefer, this discussion
12 can take place in private session.
13 THE APPELLANT STANISIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we don't
14 need to go into private session. There are no significant changes.
15 Everything is in accordance with my age, and the health condition is also
16 appropriate to my age. Nothing special. Nothing that I need to raise is
17 an issue at the moment.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you, Mr. Stanisic.
19 Mr. Zupljanin, same question, and same advisory. If you have
20 something to say which you prefer to say in private session, please let
21 me know.
22 THE APPELLANT ZUPLJANIN: [Interpretation] Your Honour, there is
23 no need to go into private session. There is nothing that I can boast,
24 as the saying goes, but it is difficult. Prison is difficult by itself.
25 Months, days, and years go by. This is the seventh year that I have been
1 in detention, and I can tell you that it's not at all easy. Though, we
2 don't have any objections to the health service, no objections to the
3 personnel at the DU, but the prison takes its toll. You can see that by
4 ourselves from the day when we arrived to this day, and who knows how
5 long all that is going to last.
6 So shortly, it's not easy and it's very difficult for us. Thank
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Zupljanin. I can assure you that
9 we are doing our utmost to make it last as little as possible, subject,
10 of course, to the ultimate decision to be taken by the Appeals Chamber.
11 So I thank you both.
12 And I will deal now with the recent procedural history. Before
13 we turn to any issues that the parties may wish to raise, I will now
14 outline the recent procedural history of this case, focusing on many
15 public decisions and orders issued since the last Status Conference held
16 on the 12th of November, 2014.
17 As I have said before, even though this information is known by
18 the parties and by their counsel, one of the purposes of a Status
19 Conference is to inform the public in general, the people outside this
20 Tribunal, of what is happening in any particular case. In our case, the
21 current appeal.
22 First, with regard to the composition of the Appeals Chamber
23 seized of the present case, I recall that on the 11th of February, 2015,
24 the President of the Tribunal appointed Judge Bakhtiyar Tuzmukhamedov to
25 replace Judge Patrick Robinson on the Bench. As the parties may be
1 aware, Judge Robinson has been elected as judge to the International
2 Court of Justice, and I take this opportunity to publicly congratulate
4 Next I recall that on the 9th of September, 2014, Mr. Stanisic
5 filed a second motion pursuant to the Rule 115 of the Rules of Procedure
6 and Evidence, seeking admission of his testimony in the Karadzic case as
7 additional evidence on appeal. The Appeals Chamber, Judge Afande
8 dissenting, dismissed the motion in a decision issued on the
9 11th of February, 2015.
10 Finally, as noted earlier, on the 26th of February, 2015, the
11 Stanisic Defence filed a confidential motion to reschedule the
12 Status Conference that had previously been scheduled for the
13 6th of March, 2015. The Appeals Chamber, there being no opposition,
14 granted the motion in a public decision, signed by me and issued on the
15 2nd of March, that is, a few days ago, 2015, and rescheduled this
16 Status Conference for today.
17 And this concludes my summary of the recent procedural history of
18 this case.
19 Now I come to basically the last part of today's agenda; namely,
20 issues that the parties may wish to raise, and at this point I am going
21 to ask the parties whether they have any issues that they would like to
22 raise, starting with the Prosecution.
23 MR. MENON: Your Honour, the Prosecution would simply renew its
24 request, the request that was made at the prior Status Conference, that
25 the parties be given two months' notice of the date of the appeal hearing
1 in this case. Thank you.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I'll come to it soon. I'll just see what, if
3 anything, the Defence counsel have to say.
4 Would you like to raise any issues, Mr. Bourgon?
5 MR. BOURGON: Yes, Mr. President. I would like at this time to
6 take this opportunity to the express my apologies both to yourself and to
7 everyone in the courtroom for the rescheduling of this Status Conference.
8 The reason being is, of course, the role of a co-counsel is to be ready
9 for battle if the lead counsel goes down. Unfortunately, I was away and
10 it was just impossible for me to return in time. I even tried to see to
11 look at the possibility of having a video conference. It was just not
12 possible where I was, so I take this opportunity to express my apologies.
13 Thank you, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. I appreciate that, Mr. Bourgon. But no
15 need for apologies. I think everything was presented as transparent --
16 in as transparent manner as possible, and the Appeals Chamber - myself,
17 in particular - I'm glad we could accommodate everyone without serious
19 Mr. Krgovic.
20 MR. KRGOVIC: Nothing from us, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you.
22 Just to make sure, Mr. Stanisic and Mr. Zupljanin, do you wish to
23 take the floor and raise any issues which your counsel have not raised or
24 which you have not discussed with your counsel and which you would like
25 to communicate to me?
1 THE APPELLANT STANISIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have no
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Zupljanin.
4 THE APPELLANT ZUPLJANIN: [Interpretation] Neither do I,
5 Your Honour. Thank you.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
7 Now coming to the point raised by you, Mr. Menon. I was
8 anticipating this, obviously, and I checked what I promised you during
9 the previous Status Conference of the 12th of November. The situation
10 remains the same in the sense that you have my commitment that you will
11 have a fair, good, and sufficient advance notice when to expect the
13 To update you, not just you but also Defence counsel, Defence
14 teams, the situation has worsened a little bit since the last
15 Status Conference because, basically, the P5 that was appointed to
16 supervise the case way back in July, August of last year went out on sick
17 leave, and he was genuinely sick. He took longer than I expected to
18 recover and come back. When that was obvious, I asked for a temporary
19 replacement, which the President kindly granted. But the temporary
20 replacement that I got was very temporary in the sense that I got a P5
21 who was P5 for Prlic, a P5 also looking over the Seselj case, and
22 therefore I had a P5 also helping me in -- in this appeal but
23 triple-hatting, I mean. So it was -- in addition, I mean, just to make
24 it even worse, she gave everything she could for this case and we
25 advanced pretty well, but she has also left the Tribunal now.
1 And it's over a month -- I can't remember exactly when she left,
2 but it's well over a month now, and I have not had a replacement. I was
3 promised a P4 on practically a full-time basis, but that did not
4 materialise because this person was also and still is intimately involved
5 and extensively involved in another appeal, so won't be available
6 full-time, really, until the end of this month or the first -- end of
7 first week of next month.
8 So that has been my predicament. Yet, I must publicly
9 acknowledge that my staff, decimated as it is, and headless - I mean,
10 there is no one really at P4 level that -- or P5 level that is ultimately
11 responsible - has worked wonders, and the drafting is fairly advanced.
12 But the reviewing of the drafts will take time and won't happen until I
13 have the proper people in place, and that may take another month.
14 In the meantime, I have taken steps to boost up the staff, the
15 drafting team, and that again should happen by the end of this month or
16 beginning of the next.
17 But ultimately, the bottom line is that if -- in November I was
18 thinking that the hearing would be slightly before the -- they would
19 happen slightly before the recess, the summer recess, I am very
20 pessimistic now. So I think the prep doc should be distributed before
21 the recess but the hearing will only happen after the recess.
22 However, the situation as such has still got to crystallise, and
23 I should be able to give you more precise information as we go along.
24 However, don't expect any hearing within the next two months or three
25 months at least.
1 One other thing is that my expectations were that the case would
2 finish this year. However, that will not be possible. We're doing our
3 utmost to finish it as early as we can. As I said, this case has
4 suffered from circumstances which were completely beyond my control and
5 my colleagues' control. Hopefully, I am gradually trying to remedy
6 things. However, it's not easy because the time through which the
7 Tribunal itself is passing is difficult. I mean, we are losing staff.
8 It's difficult to find alternative staff. It's difficult. So --
9 however, I do have solutions in sight and I am hopeful. But you will
10 receive further information along the line, okay? Thank you.
11 Any further questions?
12 MR. MENON: No. Thank you, Your Honour, for the update.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
14 Nothing from the Defence? No. All right.
15 So that concludes today's Status Conference. I thank you once
16 more for being punctual and for having done your utmost to attend, and
17 we'll meet again in 120 days' time for the next Status Conference. Thank
19 --- Whereupon the Status Conference adjourned
20 at 3.20 p.m.